I’ve shared a little bit about losing my daughter Courtney to stillbirth. It’s been more than 16 years. Her birthday was July 2nd. Even after all these years, it was a difficult day. Age 16 represents a coming of age for girls. Sweet 16 parties, dating, and driving are obsessions for girls of that age. When that day came and went and I didn’t have my daughter to plan a party and with whom to celebrate, I felt ripped off. Anger reared its ugly head causing me to feel sick and sad inside. I had to once again seek God for comfort that only He has the ability to give. It was as if I had been transported back to July 2, 1996 and was reliving the nightmare.
After July 2 had come and gone, I was alright again. I know these days will happen. I am fully and painfully aware that I am her mother, and even though she does not live with me, her life is still burned in my heart. For eight months we were joined physically, and we will be joined emotional until we are reunited in heaven. It hurts. I ache. These are the ups and downs the mother of a stillborn child endures.
The reason I’m pouring out my heart to you about this is because yesterday, I had to make a phone call to my doctor’s office. I had a question for the nurse. The receptionist rang the nurses’ station and when she answered I was greeted with, “Hello, This is Courtney speaking.”
I’m not the only woman in this world who named her daughter Courtney, so why did my heart find its way into my throat? I answered by saying, “Hello, Courtney this is…” I then went on to state the reason for my call. Since the loss of my daughter, I’ve never met anyone named Courtney. I sometimes hear the name on television or hear other people in stores speaking to someone using the name, but I’ve never had to address someone with that name before. It felt awkward, yet at the same time I almost enjoyed repeating the woman’s name back to her as I addressed her. It was freeing in some way.
After 16 years, I’m still processing it all. There are days I continue to silently grieve while learning to live without her. The upside is that I will always depend on God to carry me. I know now, more than ever before, that the sense of hopelessness I feel at times has led me straight into the arms of the Father, and there is no place else I would rather be. I won’t ever understand why, but because I serve the Almighty, I don’t need to understand. I walk by faith, in His love, according to His will. One day at a time, sweet Jesus.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.